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A Radical Rethinks Terrorist Violence after the Murder of Federal Prosecutor Siegfried Buback (April 25, 1977)
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And I have to ask myself how – cut off from everyday personal and political contexts – I could even make the decision with my people to undertake such an action. How I’d have to spend months preparing for the fact that Buback had to be gotten rid of, how logistics and ballistics would have to determine my whole way of thinking. How I could be certain that this guy and no one else has to die, how I would take for granted that someone else will be killed too, and how a third person might become a paraplegic, etc.

I’d have to turn my thinking around totally. I still think that the decision to kill or murder is in the hands of those in power: judges, cops, factory security services, the military, nuclear power plant operators. That I’d have to get special training to do that; cold-blooded like Al Capone, fast, brutal, calculating.

How should I decide that Buback is important, not for me and my people, but for other people too? That he is more important than Judge X at prison Y or one of its guards? Or that the salesman in the corner, who keeps yelling “off with his head,” is less “guilty” than Buback? Just because he has less “responsibility”?

Why this politics of personalities? Couldn’t we all kidnap a female cook together someday and see how they then respond, the upright democrats?

Shouldn’t we be putting more of our focus on female cooks?

When one of these state-approved killers gets bumped off in Argentina or even Spain, I don’t have these problems. I believe I can feel that the hate of the people against these figures is truly a popular hatred. But who and how many people hated Buback (to death)? Where could I – if I were part of the armed struggle – get my ability to decide over life and death?

We all have to get away from hating the oppressors of the people on behalf of the people. Just as we have already gradually gotten away from acting or building up a party on behalf of others. If Buback was not a victim of popular anger (or, if you like, class hatred, so no false suspicions arise), then the violence that is exercised comes just as little from the people as Buback’s violence did.

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